Despite being bonkersly (it’s my word even if it doesn’t exist) driven in general I also put things I don’t like off. On the whole that involves accounting of any sort. I find it dull. At the moment it also includes making edits to my book (sorry publisher). I wouldn’t say I procrastinate, more deprioritise and get on with other things. I do the big things even if they feel daunting (like writing a book) it’s just those boring niggles that fall to the bottom of my pile. Those itty bitty things.
I come out as a ‘P’ on the Myers Briggs personality inventory which exacerbates my need to put things off. It’s not helped that my husband is exactly the same. This trait we have basically means that we work better under pressure: never pack for holidays, buy presents at the last minute and spend our lives rushing about. As taken from the Myers Briggs website the following statements generally apply to us:
- I like to stay open to respond to whatever happens.
- I appear to be loose and casual. I like to keep plans to a minimum.
- I like to approach work as play or mix work and play.
- I work in bursts of energy.
- I am stimulated by an approaching deadline.
- Sometimes I stay open to new information so long I miss making decisions when they are needed.
In contrast if we were at the other end of the spectrum on this particular facet we would be more like the following:
- I like to have things decided.
- I appear to be task oriented.
- I like to make lists of things to do.
- I like to get my work done before playing.
- I plan work to avoid rushing just before a deadline.
- Sometimes I focus so much on the goal that I miss new information.
Taken from MyersBriggs.org
In the same way that I have often been mistaken as an extrovert, because I love parties and people, I have also been misjudged as a ‘J’ simply because I make lists and always hit my deadlines. These however, like my apparent extroversion are learnt behaviours rather than my more natural way of being.
Your personality is pretty important – it’s what distinguishes you from the next person, what makes you unique. It’s the part of you that lies at the core, the bit that feels more genetic and less adaptable. You can adapt your personality, but it will take a great deal of focused effort, effort that could be more usefully employed paying attention to areas for awareness, areas for development, or simply refining the way in which you do things. As well as highlighting your strengths and even hidden assets, personality tests allow you gain a better understanding of the less positive aspects of your personality, so that you can modify them or understand the impact they have on other people and try to mitigate that.
Us psychologists use psychometric measurement tools like Myers Briggs to get more insight into who someone is and how they approach things. When looking specifically at personality, they can help to find out a person’s preferences and motivational drivers, and provide a prediction of how they will behave in different contexts.
Psychological measurement is a hugely complex practice, so much so that some people focus their whole academic career on the study and development of psychometrics. Psychometric assessments are not just questionnaires or quick quizzes like you find in magazines (in spite of what one reviewer wrote about my book on amazon), they are put together through rigorous and advanced statistical analysis, considering vast amounts of data on behaviour to create tests that on the surface are straightforward and easy to use, yet measure highly complex variables. To be academically and professionally recognized, tests need to have reliability and validity. Some actually argue that Myers Briggs doesn’t itself pass these tests and is not as rigorous, however it still provides a useful guide for people.
If you’d like to try doing a properly constructed personality test and you have my book Defining You then give the Credo a try. It typically costs £100 but you’ll have the code to allow you to access it for free and receive a personalised report. Happy Christmas!
Defining You: Discover telling insights into your behaviour, motives and results to unlock your full potential by Fiona Murden, is now out in paperback.
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